The Sunderland 'family' which has joined the search for the best businesswomen in the area

A ladies-only gym is spreading the message – for women entrepreneurs to put themselves in the mix for an award.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 7:00 am
Club Zest members in full flow.

Nine hundred females aged from 10 to 84 are members of Club Zest on Sea Road in Fulwell. It’s a thriving gym with more than 60 classes and facilities including studios, a hair salon, beauty section, and a full range of gym equipment.

But this is more than just a gym. It’s a ‘family’ with a community approach and now it has another feather to its bow. It has become a sponsor of the first ever Sunderland Echo-organised Wearside Women In Business Awards.

Joint owners are Holly McBride-Donaldson and Jennie Moyse, and Holly told the Echo: “We are so excited to be a part of it and it is such a great thing for women to be recognised in business.

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Club Zest members in the middle of an exercise session.

“We have a lot of women who run their own business and we want to get on board with this acknowledgement of women.”

Club Zest is sponsoring the Apprentice of the Year category and Holly explained: “We have young girls who come in from the age of 10 and from 13 they can come on their own. We give the same treatment to them as we do to older women.”

The club also specialises in the personal approach where they are offered personal help with their health and fitness.

Every member goes through an induction process which means they have programme to help them achieve their targets. There are also regular re-assessments to keep people on course.

Club Zest is more than just a place to get into shape. It's a family with a strong social side.

And outside of the gym, the club has activities such as day trips. There’s a mother and daughter session, a Teen Fitclub, and a slimming club.

Holly added: “We have 15 staff and it is going amazingly well. We want to keep on doing what we do and keep on getting our name out there.”

Club Zest are on board as an awards sponsor.

So are Sunderland BIC, Gentoo, WBC Arts Wellbeing, TCL At Home and UK Fostering North East.

The Wearside Women In Business sponsors.

All we need now are the entries to make the competition a success.

Perhaps you know a female who has launched a company and it has got off to a storming start. Then you should choose the ‘Start-up Business Woman of the Year category’

The Rising Star section is for those who are making people sit up and take notice of their rise up the entrepreneurial ladder.

And we want to hear about new starters who deserve to win the Apprentice of the Year category.

Then there’s the people who make a difference in their neighbourhood. They stand a chance of winning the Contribution To Community category.

We’ve got the Women In Education Award and the Mentor of the Year section for those who tirelessly give them time to help others.

If you’re the person who everyone looks up to, you could be our Inspirational Woman of the Year.

And if you’ve made a difference to the business world over a long time, you could be our first ever winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Do you know someone who deserves to be the Business Woman of the Year? That’s another of our categories.

Watch out for much more on all of the categories in the weeks to come.

For now though, we want your nominations.

You have until September 2 to send us your entries and the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist three days later.

Then it is on to the grand finale – a lunchtime awards ceremony on Thursday, September 26.

But for now, we need your nominations to make the event a big success. Email [email protected] and tell us the name, address, business of your nominated person and why you feel they deserve to win.